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Libyan PM Lays White Roses And Pauses In Silence At Scene Of Yvonne Fletcher Murder

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In one of the most significant diplomatic gestures since 1984 Libyan prime minister Abdurrahim El-Keib has made an historic visit to the spot where policewoman Yvonne Fletcher was shot dead.

Her murder came to define unsteady relations between the UK and Colonel Gaddafi's brutal Libyan regime.

Wpc Fletcher was only 25 when she was shot by a sniper while policing a protest outside the Libyan embassy in London's St James's Square.

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Libyan prime minister Abdurrahim El-Keib lays a wreath at the spot where policewoman Yvonne Fletcher was shot dead

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The Libyan premier paused and bowed in front of the memorial

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Libya has moved to rebuild diplomatic links after Yvonne Fletcher's murder

Her killer is thought to have been smuggled out of the country back to Libya after the shooting.

In the aftermath of the killing an 11-day siege of the building took place which resulted in the severing of diplomatic.

Now those links are being rebuilt.

El-Keib visited the scene after it was announced on Thursday that a team of detectives from the Metropolitan Police would fly to Libya to continue their investigations into the unsolved murder.

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Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with Libya's Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib inside 10 Downing Street

The Libyan premier paused and bowed in front of the memorial to Wpc Fletcher and laid a wreath of white roses and carnations at the spot.

No-one has ever been brought to justice for the killing.

But El-Keib said yesterday his country would "work very closely together" with the UK after talks with Prime Minister David Cameron.

El-Keib worked with the opposition while in exile during Muammar Gaddafi's dictatorship and said he knew some of those involved in the demonstration.

He told Cameron: "The Fletcher case is a case that is close to my heart personally. "I had friends who were demonstrating that day next to the embassy. It is a sad story.

"It is very unfortunate that it has anything to do with the Libyan people. I am here to tell you that we will work very closely together to resolve anything related to that issue."

Visas for the Met detectives to travel to the war-torn country have been cleared but no exact date for their trip has been released yet.

After laying the floral tribute, El-Keib gave a talk at nearby Chatham House, the independent policy institute, as part of his two-day visit.

The leader was picked up on values and questioned about controversial pieces of legislation.

El-Keib was questioned about law 37 - banning insulting the people of Libya, its institutions and glorifying Gaddafi, and law 38 - an "impunity law".

Critics say law 38 puts revolutionaries above the law, giving them an amnesty for any crimes committed to promote the revolution.

The prime minister said the laws were introduced previously by the National Transitional Council and that the country is facing very tough conditions where opponents wanted to jeopardise its move to democracy.

Acknowledging that law 37 was necessary at the moment, El-Keib promised the laws would eventually be erased after the elections and an assembly is formed.

He said: "I guarantee such laws will disappear completely."

The prime minister spoke of the massive job of rebuilding the country and its infrastructure with health, education and the economy high on his list of priorities.

"Under the circumstances we have been making excellent progress and we have been making that progress continuously to democracy and the rule of law," he said.

El-Keib told the audience of 250 that the times of corrupt deals being organised had gone.

Contracts for rebuilding the nation would no longer get signed off by "just the man upstairs and he then starts asking you to do him favours".

Referring to the country's oil and gas capabilities and future business with international companies, El-Keib said: "The door is well open in a transparent fashion.

"You are welcome, everyone, that can help us move forward and enhance our production in the future."

Around the Web

Murder of Yvonne Fletcher - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1984: Libyan embassy shots kill policewoman - BBC News

Yvonne Fletcher Murder: Police To Visit Libya - Yahoo! News UK

Yvonne Fletcher and Lockerbie bombing secret files from - Daily Mail

Articles about Yvonne Fletcher - CNN